Moral Obligations

Publication Title: 
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal

This essay offers a Confucian evaluation of Article 14 of the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, with a focus given to its statement that "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being." It indicates that "a right to health" contained in the statement is open to two different interpretations, one radically egalitarian, another a decent minimum.

Author(s): 
Fan, Ruiping
Publication Title: 
Journal of Medical Ethics

Since emotions give contradictory signals about animal experimentation in medical science, man's relationship to animals must be based upon reason. Thomas Aquinas argues that man is essentially different from animals because man's intellectual processes show evidence of an abstract mechanism not possessed by animals. Man's rights arise in association with this essential difference. The consequence is that only man possesses true rights by Aquinas's definition; animals have them only by analogy.

Author(s): 
Martin, J.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Medical Ethics

Since emotions give contradictory signals about animal experimentation in medical science, man's relationship to animals must be based upon reason. Thomas Aquinas argues that man is essentially different from animals because man's intellectual processes show evidence of an abstract mechanism not possessed by animals. Man's rights arise in association with this essential difference. The consequence is that only man possesses true rights by Aquinas's definition; animals have them only by analogy.

Author(s): 
Martin, J.
Publication Title: 
The Gerontologist

This paper reviews the moral and ethical context of family relationships and caregiver stress, with an emphasis on the implications for professional interventions. Three views of filial responsibility are presented: parental reverence, a debt of gratitude, and caregiving as an expression of friendship and love. Case studies are presented to illustrate how an exploration of ethically defensible limits to caregiving might proceed.

Author(s): 
Selig, S.
Tomlinson, T.
Hickey, T.
Publication Title: 
Health care analysis: HCA: journal of health philosophy and policy

The World Health Organisation encourages that blood donation becomes voluntary and unremunerated, a system already operated in the UK. Drawing on public documents and videos, this paper argues that blood donation is regarded and presented as altruistic and supererogatory. In advertisements, donation is presented as something undertaken for the benefit of others, a matter attracting considerable gratitude from recipients and the collecting organisation.

Author(s): 
Snelling, Paul C.
Publication Title: 
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal

This paper argues that societal duties of health promotion are underwritten (at least in large part) by a principle of beneficence. Further, this principle generates duties of justice that correlate with rights, not merely "imperfect" duties of charity or generosity. To support this argument, I draw on a useful distinction from bioethics and on a somewhat neglected approach to social obligation from political philosophy. The distinction is that between general and specific beneficence; and the approach from political philosophy has at times been called equality of concern.

Author(s): 
Kelleher, J. Paul
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
Author(s): 
Battin, Margaret P.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Medical Ethics

Ethics is no less of a science than any other. It has its roots in conflicts of interest between human beings, and in their conflicting urges to behave either selfishly or altruistically. Resolving such conflicts leads to the specification of rules of conduct, often expressed in terms of rights and duties. In the special case of professional ethics, the paramount rule of conduct is altruism in the service of a 'noble' cause, and this distinguishes true professions from other trades or occupations.

Author(s): 
Sieghart, P.
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy

The author contends that overworking residents cannot be ethically justified. There is evidence that overwork is detrimental both to the resident and to the patient. In addition, the argument that working long hours is essential to maintain medicine's status as a profession is analyzed. The claim cannot be supported by definitions of professionalism. Although Flexner's definition does specify altruism as an essential component, it does not justify long working hours for residents.

Author(s): 
Ritchie, K.
Publication Title: 
The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
Author(s): 
Boisaubin, E. V.

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